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HWDSB Trustees Respond to Community Voice in Sherwood Decision

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HWDSB Trustees Respond to Community Voice in Sherwood Decision

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Hamilton, Ontario – March 29, 2022: Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) Trustees have endorsed a plan for Sherwood’s future in which its students temporarily move to the former Barton site (75 Palmer Road) while renovations occur at Sherwood.

The temporary move is expected to last about two years, beginning September 2022.

A second motion, by Ward Trustee Kathy Archer, also passed to ensure that students remain on the former Barton site as briefly as possible, that a Transition Committee form to navigate and update parties about the move, and that Sherwood students have voice in the transition process.

“This was not an easy decision, but it was clear that the community wanted Sherwood to stay open on its current site,” Board Chair Dawn Danko said. “There were many factors to consider, including the voices of the Sherwood community, which helped us make a better decision.”

After a 2012 accommodation review, Sherwood remained open but, due to facility needs, Trustees directed staff to request Ministry funding for a replacement school on the site. HWDSB was unsuccessful after eight capital priorities requests and had to choose the best accommodation option for current and future students.

Asbestos abatement that can only be done while students and staff are off site has delayed renewal and secondary facility benchmark work at Sherwood. This includes work to bring Sherwood’s science labs and learning commons up to the benchmark standards for HWDSB secondary schools.

“We want current and future generations of Sherwood students to have access to quality learning and teaching environments to maximize learning and program delivery,” Chair Danko said. “It has been a long road to get to this decision, and we appreciate the patience, understanding and interest the Sherwood community has shown.”

To aid this decision, HWDSB led a public engagement effort so that students, families, staff and community members could learn about the issue and provide input before a decision. This included virtual information sessions, a survey on preferred options, public delegations to Board, and more.

Next steps include forming a transition committee – with students, families, staff and other stakeholders – to advise the superintendent and administrators, so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

See the March 28 meeting’s agenda, video and  staff presentation.

Learn more about the future of Sherwood at www.hwdsb.on.ca/sherwood/future-of-sherwood/

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Media Contact:

Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager, Communications and Community Engagement
905.515.6227 | smckillo@hwdsb.on.ca


Background

Motion 1:

That the Board proceed with a temporary move of student to the Barton site in September 2022, perform renewal and secondary benchmark work at the Sherwood site and move students back when the work is complete.

Motion 2:

Whereas: Community preference is to have Sherwood students remain on the Sherwood site for as long as possible and to have Sherwood students remain on the Barton site for the shortest duration possible.

Whereas: The Community is requesting a formalized opportunity, via a transition committee, to continue to be engaged, informed and supportive of the transitioning of students between school sites throughout the duration of the Sherwood renovation project.

Whereas: Student engagement and student voice must remain front and centre in all of our transition planning and school renewal projects, therefore:

Be It Resolved That: The Sherwood students remain on the Barton site for the shortest duration possible and that there will be no displacement of students until the Sherwood renovation project has been tendered, awarded and a start date has been set and started.

Be It Resolved That: The Transition Committee be struck as soon as possible (and no later than May 2022) and that it be inclusive of, but not limited to, Sherwood students, parents/guardians, and staff, who will support the transition of students between sites throughout the duration of the Sherwood renovation project, through:

  1. Regular updates (no less than bi-monthly)
  2. Be advised of any material status changes and impacts, anything that will change timelines and scope;
  3. Committee members provide feedback on the transition planning, transportation/safe routes to school, school traditions and celebration dates, opportunities to tour sites and communications to the wider school community
  4. Be kept informed on how Sherwood students are being engaged and how student voice is being gathered about the Sherwood renovation project and transition planning.

Be It Resolved That: The Sherwood student body be engaged and student voice be gathered with regards to the Sherwood renovation project and transition planning, such as, but not limited, visual aspects of the renovation project plans, colours/branding; school traditions and celebration dates; opportunities to tour sites with enhanced consideration for tour/transition planning for students with special needs.

Updated on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
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